New English translations for parts of Mass approved

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Vatican has given its approval to a new English-language translation of the main constant parts of the Mass, but Catholics in the pew are unlikely to see any of the approved changes at Masses for awhile to allow for catechesis on the reasons for the revisions.

The approved text, sent to the Vatican for “recognitio,” or confirmation, after a June 2006 vote by the U.S. bishops in Los Angeles, involves translation of the penitential rite, Gloria, creed, eucharistic prayers, eucharistic acclamations, Our Father and other prayers and responses used daily. But it is only the first of 12 units into which the third edition of the Roman Missal has been divided for translation purposes. It includes most of the texts used in every celebration of Mass including responses to the celebrant by people participating in a liturgy.

“In terms of the people’s part, it’s not gong to require too much adjustment,” Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, told Catholic News Service July 25. “It’s a refinement of the language, a clearer theological language. “Not much of the people’s part is changed, and I think once or twice after they use it, they will hardly notice the change,” he said.

While the changes have been approved, Bishop Serratelli said it will be awhile before they become part of regular worship at Mass. “I’m hoping for two years,” he said. “I’m an optimist.”

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